Up in smoke, perhaps?

I LOOKED AT MY good friend Bruce Bowie for some counsel.

“It’s $44.95,” I said nervously. “Do you think Mrs. Tait would go for that?” Bruce gave me that look he has given me countless times over our four-decade friendship. He didn’t have to say a word. I knew the answer was no.

vintage-smoking-pipe-tobacco-classic-7077c“It might be a tough sell,”  Bruce said with a frown telling me, very quietly, I was once again crazy.

Let me set the scene for you: Bruce and I had some extra time the other day at West Edmonton Mall. At my suggestion we went into Two Guys With Pipes looking for  … well, a pipe.

MY FIRST RECOLLECTION of a pipe comes from my dad when I was a young boy. I loved the smell of Dad’s pipe whenever he fired it up. And, he liked the encouragement: Dad said he started smoking a pipe because, he convincingly said, a pipe was better for him than cigarettes. Made sense to me. I also think it’s important to carry on such distinguished family traditions. So I wanted to buy a pipe — but, you have to understand, not to smoke it. Goodness, no. I mean, since I have cerebral palsy and not the best hand co-ordination, stuffing a pipe with tobacco could be an all-day event. Messy, too. And can you imagine me trying to light it? It’s a fire hazard.

...Glen Sather

…Glen Sather

I JUST WANTED TO have it in my mouth, and chew on it a bit. Look at New York Ranger GM Glen Sather. We always see him with a cigar, right? Do we ever see it lit? Uh, nope. Same thing with my friend Curtis Stock over there at the Edmonton Journal. He has a cigar, too — but never lights it. So I thought when I write a pipe might be a nice, you know .. accessory?

BRUCE ALSO HAS FOND memories of a pipe from the late Jerry Forbes who eloquently smoked a pipe — because, that’s the only way to puff on a pipe. So we went into the shop armed with enthusiasm. The nice young man behind the counter politely opened the glass door and carefully

...Jerry Forbes

…Jerry Forbes

handed me the pipe I wanted. We looked at it and then turned the small price tag over. “It’s $44.95,”  I said in a quiet voice. I swallowed hard and saw my idea, frankly, go up in smoke. Mrs. Tait would not be happy, indeed. Oh well. Guess I’ll have money to but a good cigar. Right, honey?

(Cam Tait is the special projects advisor for  Challenge Insurance)

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Tuesday, Nov. 18 — Tait’s 8

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•What’s the first sign the Christmas Bureau of Edmonton is getting fired up? Why, it’s the media gingerbread house competition and it was held Monday. A total of 29 teams cut, pasted and, best of all, tasted. The real winners are the people, 65,000 this year, who will get a Christmas meal who otherwise wouldn’t. And also tied for first place are Edmontonians who, once again, will make this happen.

•Good morning to you, Iris Evans. The former MLA and cabinet minister is the keynote speaker to the Alberta School Board Association’s meeting Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the Westin.

•It’s National Addictions Awareness Week. It could be a new beginning for someone you know, or, even — more exciting — for you. All the best to everyone part of this week.

•Bruce Bowie is perhaps known the most in the morning where he navigates the 630 CHED Morning News.  But tonight he’ll be front and centre — Bruce will be leading a Christian worship this evening at Hope Mission. He volunteers to speak one night a month at Hope Mission.

•It could be a bitter sweet Tuesday for Shawn Ewasiuk  over there at the Premier’s Council on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Sean is leaving his position as the council’s director for a new role with Alberta Energy.

•Way to go, Edmonton Little Aces! The group that shares the game of tennis with young kids has teamed up with Canadian Tire Jumpstart, the Edmonton Public School Board and  Kids in Motion to give a tennis program to more than  300 Grade 4 and 5 students. A total of eight schools from low income neighbourhoods have been will be taught tennis skills — and, there was a friendly competition Monday at the Kinsmen Sports Centre.

•The Edmonton Sun’s Annual Auction is on now until Friday with close to $1 million worth of merchandise. Sun advertisers put some of their products on the block so there will be some great deals. For more info visit edmontonsun.com

•And just wondering about the current Edmonton Oiler current situation: has the team learn how to hate — really hate — losing?